A&A Updates: The Beat Goes On
Whether your financial practice is in the public sector, industry, government, education, or somewhere else entirely, one of your to-do list essentials is keeping up with the latest accounting and auditing rule changes.
CPE Link instructor Russ Madray points out that monthly A&A updates mean not only following new number-crunching techniques, but also reviewing the latest guidance in areas such as ethics and client confidentiality.
Madray is president of The Madray Group, an author, lecturer and adjunct professor at Clemson University. He says that every month there are new accounting issues, new audit issues, new compilation and review issues -- and it’s never exactly the same mix.
For example, in late summer SSARS 19 revised reporting requirements for a review engagement to provide more transparency.
“When you review financial statements for a client,” he says, “Identify the financial statements reviewed in the opening paragraph, describe management’s responsibility for the financial statements in a second paragraph, describe the accountant’s responsibility in a third paragraph, and describe the results of the engagement in the fourth paragraph.”
Madray says that earlier standards “did not provide a framework for the level of assurance you were seeking to obtain. As a result, some review engagements were performed by blindly using an illustrative checklist rather than applying professional judgment to tailor the nature and extent of review procedures to the client’s situation.”
Are the majority of financial statements you prepare based on GAAP? Or International Financial Reporting Standards or Other Comprehensive Basis of Accounting? Whatever you use, there are various fine points of each month’s changes that you need to know.
A proposed financial interest change, for example, provides new guidance on evaluating potential threats to integrity and objectivity and applying appropriate safeguards when necessary.
by Sue Anderson - Based on 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently program director for online CPE provider, CPE Link. Formerly with the California CPA Education Foundation managing key operational areas including marketing, program development, and distance learning.